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Pius XII°

PIUS XII° (1876–1958), pope from 1939. Born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli, in Rome, he entered the Secretariat of State in 1901, was professor of ecclesiastical diplomacy at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy from 1909 to 1914, undersecretary of state in 1911, archbishop of Sardes and apostolic nuncio to the Bavarian court in Munich in 1917, and nuncio to Germany in 1920 but moving to Berlin only in 1925. In 1929 Pacelli concluded a concordat with the State of Prussia. He became cardinal in 1929 and secretary of state in 1930. Cardinal Pacelli was instrumental in negotiating the concordat between the Holy See and the Third Reich, which was signed on July 20, 1933, by him and Vice Chancellor von Papen. His ambivalent stance during the Nazi period subsequently gave rise to considerable controversy (much of it engendered by Rolf *Hochhuth's play The Deputy; for a full analysis see *Holocaust and the Christian Churches). On April 10, 1945, he received Moshe *Sharett, director of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency, to discuss with him the "situation of the Jews in Europe and the future of the Jews in Palestine." His views on the situation in Ereẓ Israel found expression in the encyclicals Auspicia quaedam (May 1, 1948), In multiplicibus curis (Oct. 24, 1948), and In redemptoris nostri (April 15, 1949), in which he recommended that Jerusalem should be internationalized. His attitude toward the State of Israel was reserved. On June 10, 1948, the Congregation of Rites ruled that the term perfidi Judaei in the Good Friday liturgy be translated into the vernacular as "unbelieving" and not as "faithless" as it had been hitherto.


D. Fisher, Pope Pius XII and the Jews (1963); E.R. Bentley (ed.), The Storm over the Deputy (1964); G. Lewy, The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany (1964); S. Friedlaender, Pius XII and the Third Reich (1966); L. Rothkirchen, in: Yad Vashem Studies, 6 (1967), 27–53; P.E. Lapide, Three Popes and the Jews (1967), 117–305; C. Falconi, The Silence of Pius XII (1970).